If language has a holiday, does that mean today we can stop fussing over how we say what we have to say? Well, today is National Grammar Day and for my part I can only hope the name alone is enough to cause bloggers, texters, and twitterers to stop in their tracks since, sadly, as our methods of communications change, the very idea of “rules” for language have fallen by the wayside. With this in mind, today is probably an excellent opportunity to pause and consider the simple, but brilliant, book by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White which has been the standard “how to” for over fifty years. Fear not, it isn’t a dry manual of rules and regulations. It is an eloquently simple book. Pick it up and put it out and have it on hand. Consult it as you might a much-loved cookbook. There’s even a recent edition with illustrations by the great Maira Kalman to help you along. Note to self: Blog Maira Kalman. She is a genius.
“A schoolchild should be taught grammar–for the same reason that a medical student should study anatomy. Having learned about the exciting mysteries of an English sentence, the child can then go forth and speak and write any damn way he pleases.”
― E.B. White, Writings from the New Yorker 1927-1976